Binghamton University's Student Association President Nicholas Ferrara has proposed legislation that would implement ranked choice voting (also referred to as single transferable vote or "STV"). Under this proposal, voters would rank their candidates in order of preference. The current system requires a candidate to receive just 40 percent of the overall vote to win.
“STV allows voters to rank candidates so that if their preferred candidate proves nonviable their vote is not wasted but instead used on their second choice,” Ferrara said in the Pipe Dream, Binghamton University's independent, student-run newspaper. “It eliminates the possibility of vote splitting and allows voters to vote for whoever they think is best without having to strategize about other voters’ preferences. It would also shorten the election season and allow more time to train the winners since it does not require runoffs.”
Moves toward innovative voting systems like ranked choice voting, even on a relatively small-scale like BU’s Student Association, help to instill a sense of pride in voting and spread the benefits of election reform that are vital to a strong democracy.
The electoral reform legislation will be up for vote at the next Student Congress meeting on Feb. 6.